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I agree, Unconditional Parenting would be a good place to start. Either that or Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves (Naomi Aldort). Re-thinking the whole reward/punishment thing and the scripts we carry inside our heads about what parents *should* do is pretty key. Both of those books change your perspective, and that changes your life.

What I have found during my parenting journey thus far is that the BIGGEST part of discipline...is disciplining MYSELF. That means making sure that I'm setting us up for success rather than catastrophe. Making sure that I'm well-rested and well-fed, making sure that I have some sort of game plan (even if I end up changing it), making sure that I do things like time my phone calls carefully, keeping things I don't want my kids to have out of their reach, etc. Almost every time "bad" behavior happens I can trace the cause back to the grown-up doing something absent-minded or otherwise unadvisable.

In general, kids are good, but they're wired to explore their world. A 2.5 year old doesn't really understand that a purse shouldn't be submerged, or that the sink stopper shouldn't be flushed. They're all about having an impulse and acting on it...ooooh, what happens when...oooh, look! When I'm "on my game" they're able to be kids without me going insane.
That's not to say that I'm always perfectly organized, only that it makes life much easier when I am.
 
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